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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 421–437 | Cite as

Humanizing Personhood

  • Adam Kadlac
Article

Abstract

This paper explores the debate between personists, who argue that the concept of a person if of central importance for moral thought, and personists, who argue that the concept of a human being is of greater moral significance. On the one hand, it argues that normative naturalism, the most ambitious defense of the humanist position, fails to identify moral standards with standards of human behavior and thereby fails to undermine the moral significance of personhood. At the same time, it contends that a more focused attention on the morally relevant features of human life may indeed play a crucial role in enhancing our moral understanding.

Keywords

Personhood Moral theory Humanism Personism Moral status 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would very much like to thank Talbot Brewer, Charles Matthewes, and Rebecca Stangl, and an anonymous reviewer for their very helpful comments on this paper. I am also indebted to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia for their collegial and financial support.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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